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This Day in UMS History: Mummenschanz (Jan 26 & 27, 1987)

By Paula Muldoon

January 26 & 27, 1987
Power Center

Mummenschanz
A Journey Into The Imagination

In 1972, Swiss actors Bernie Schürch and Andres Bossar and Italian-American actress Floriana Frassetto formed their now celebrated visual theatre group.  They gave themselves an original name, Mummenschanz (roughly meaning masquerade), and set out with a sense of fun and imagination to invent a new form of theatre.  Though each had a different background, the three artists were united by a common goal: to create a non-verbal theatrical language that would transcend the traditional barriers of nationality and culture.  Since their first performance, these artists have thrilled audiences around the world with a spectacular and revolutionary nonverbal theatrical style, and have created figures and fantasy creatures in the shape of versatile face masks, half-body to whole-body masks and three-dimensional sculptural heads.  I’m posting two vintage Mummenschanz videos.  Above you’ll see a stage performance by Mummenschanz from 1983, and below a 1976 appearance on the Muppet Show.

“This day in UMS History” is an occasional series of vignettes drawn from UMS’s historical archive.   If you have a personal story or particular memory from attending the performance featured here, we’d love to hear from you in the comments.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Paula Muldoon is a UMS Marketing Intern. She recently graduated from the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance with a degree in violin performance.

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